Magic!: Art Restorationist Dissolves 200-Year Old Varnish To Reveal Crisp Painting Underneath

November 7, 2017


This is a video of art restorationist Philip Mould dissolving the discolored 200-year old varnish off a 400-year old painting to reveal the surprisingly colorful image below. Apparently varnish, which is applied to protect paintings, discolors to yellow and brown over time, and part of the restoration process involves dissolving and removing it so you can apply a fresh, clear coat. Impressive. So impressive I was inspired to dissolve the varnish off one of my own valuable paintings. "And how did that go?" Apparently Philip wasn't using Windex mixed with bleach.

Keep going for a couple Twitter videos of the process.

Thanks to Allyson S, who I just tried to sell an old blank canvas.

  • JannaOfTheLeague

    Even his voice is satisfying

  • I know some people who could really use that stuff to remove their make-up after a night out.

  • Talon184

    For once, I won't complain about it being filmed in portrait mode...cause, you know, it's a portrait...

  • Jetch Vargas

    member mr beans movie?

  • Ollie Williams

    I find it more interesting that they've formulated a solvent that eats away so easily at varnish, but not the underlying paint.

  • GeneralDisorder

    Chemistry is pretty fucking amazing isn't it?

  • Ollie Williams

    It is, and most science. I think in another life I would have gone into a science-related field. It's super interesting.

  • Hazakabammer

    I'm a Singularitarian so you'll get your chance in the next 10 years to pursue whatever you want to. ;)

  • Ollie Williams

    Here's to hoping.

  • TheQiwiMan

    So beautifully mesmerizing. There's something so peaceful about watching grime being cleaned away.

  • GeneralDisorder

    There's a few subreddits for that. For example there's for laser ablation cleaning and for videos of power washing, before/after shots, etc.

  • Jenness

    There really is something for everyone - even the freaks.

  • GeneralDisorder

    The weirder they are the harder they... hmm. Nevermind.

    Also relevant... Rule 34. If it exists there is porn of it. Rule 35 (or 34A depending on the list) if it exists and there isn't porn of it, it shall be created.

  • James Mcelroy

    indeed, cleanliness is next to godliness. (and god is empty just like me)

  • James Mcelroy

    looks like she's got a bit of a "dirty sanchez" in the beginning of the second vid.

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